a new listener's assessment

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I've listened several days now after being told how reasoned TH was and how willing to engage the opposition, and I certainly appreciate his tone in this regard. However, I thought TH or listeners might appreciate my noting what I detected today as a slight overstepping.

TH was discussing how Terry Jones' actions were more harmful than general big-name conservative negativity. What I object to is not the characterization of pundits as destructive (though I mostly disagree), but with saying an argument could be made that some violence might have been inspired by, say, Michael Savage, given that a perpetrator (I forget whom) was found to have such a book. As Mark Levin said of Loughner, the media didn't give equal weight to the possibility of his being from the left given his possession of The Communist Manifesto. I submit this recent event is worthy of heeding by one with TH's measured reputation.

I'm sure many listeners were bothered by Limbaugh's song "Barack The Magic Negro" which TH mentioned today with lament. I have no reservations about inviting people to feel better by realizing such humor is not inappropriate for one whom many specifically voted FOR with great hopes, in part for the very reason of his race. (BTW, I'm not familiar with the lyrics as I'm not a fan of RL's show; I'm referring to the concept.)

I very much liked his last week's quoting of the German who didn't mind paying 60% or more in taxes because he didn't want to be rich in a poor country. I hope more Americans--and especially those in power, where the problem really seems to lie--come to appreciate that we're all impoverished by trying to crowd into one good country instead of people from elsewhere feeling they can prosper with their families and homelands and not ceding their resources to despots. I sincerely don't mean this as inflammatory, as inflamed as I feel by the destruction of my city so special interests can import poverty rather than alleviate it.

Finally, I don't know whether comments on Hightower's reports belong here, but let me just say that his point about how the Japan disasters affected our economy are quite legitimate--but as a new listener, I don't know whether he or others were arguing against disaster-prone outsourcing BEFORE the quake, any more than Democrats were pushing for a repeal of the Electoral College in the 1990s.

libertarian voting for Tea Party's picture
libertarian vot...
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Comments

Yes, we have been opposed to the fraud called "Global Free Trade" for about as long as it has been around. We know it is labor arbitrage, not Ricardo.

As to complaints about the Electoral College, those also go way back before the Supremes did their tango on the Constitution in 2000. All the arguments in its favor fall apart when we look at how things work. Candidates do not go to small states or to decided states under the current rules. Were they looking for any votes and saw shifting the percentages even where they "lose" the state as a way to get the popular vote, they would go more places. Winner take all is stupid, but so is the whole idea that the President should be elected by anything other than the popular vote.

Small state interests are more than adequately served in Congress. Urban interests tend to be ignored.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Welcome, Libertarian! Glad to have you on board!

- on the Loughner thing, I actually heard quite a bit of reporting claiming that he was a "left wing pinko", citing the manifesto as proof. Clearly, you heard it, too. Saying it wasn't reported just doesn't wash. I don't think having a copy of a book means anything. First off, in my experience, the people making that claim have been known to call anyone they don't like a Democrat, using the thinnest of evidence as proof. It seems to be standard operating procedure for them. Fox News using on-air graphics identifying Mark Foley, the Republican congressman from Florida who molested male interns, as a Democrat is one example of this. They have eroded their own credibility. Back to the smoking gun evidence: he had a copy of the Communist Manifesto. Some of the most extreme radical right wing posts I've seen quote Saul Alinsky. Reading Saul Alinsky doesn't make the posters Liberals. It's clear that they're not, in spite of having read Saul Alinsky. I've read Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Bernie Goldberg. That doesn't mean that I ascribe to their point of view (I most decidedly DO NOT). Also, as a student of Poli-sci (before he was thrown out of school) it's entirely possible he had it for a class. The fact that he had a book really means nothing. Anyway, the fact that his OWN writings were ranting against Liberals, coupled with the fact that he deliberately sought out the Democratic representative with the intent of gunning her down, indicates that he was probably NOT from the left. I see no malfeasance in not claiming that he was.

-on the magic negro thing: I'm not sure I follow the point you're trying to make, but from what I can tell, you're basically saying that it's just as wrong to vote FOR someone because of the color of their skin as it is to vote AGAINST someone for the color of their skin. Either way, you're voting based on skin color rather than experience, character, intelligence, etc.- For or against, it's two sides of the same coin. The coin is judging by color. If I'm misrepresenting your position, please correct me.

However, that's not the issue at hand. One difference is that the Limbaugh song was using intentionally inflammatory racial stereotypes and basically catering to the lowest levels of hatred and divisiveness. This kind of rhetoric is not uncommon from him. He's also done elaborate and mocking imitations of President Hu's language barrier, Michael fox's involuntary muscle twitches due to Parkinson's disease, and so on. I've also seen cartoons of Michelle Obama planting a watermelon patch at the whitehouse, photoshopped pictures of the Obamas dressed as pimp and hooker, and comments that if Michelle Obama wants children to eat more fruits and vegetables, she can toss a banana to her daughters when she visits them at the monkey house at the zoo. Others that I've seen are much worse. While it may be wrong to vote for someone based on race, casting a vote is not using ugly and inflammatory language. it doesn't spread hatred. It isn't intended to tear people down. To me, that's a big difference. Martin King looked forward to a day when we would judge a man by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. Clearly we're not there yet, but Rush Limbaugh's use of racist slurs give a pretty good indication of his character. It's not his skin that's being judged.

- I was also taken by the quote from the German taxpayer. It really goes to show how different the priorities are. You made an oblique comment about your city being destroyed, but I'd like to know what, specifically, is causing the destruction. As an aside, the 60% figure was the reporter's, not the German being interviewed. I got the impression that the person conducting the interview had his own agenda and was trying to be inflammatory. I've heard the tax rate is around 45%, but I could be completely wrong. Perhaps Thom or Louise, having lived in Germany for years, could weigh in on this?

Once again, glad to have you on board! Keep posting, and keep listening with a relaxed and open mind, and if something sounds questionable, VERIFY THE FACTS. That goes for any media. You can always find good conversation and friendly debate on this forum!

one small voice
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Mar. 24, 2011 11:00 pm

I didn't know libertarians were anti-immigration (legal or illegal.) I thought all libertarians were flat-earthers.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I think there are problems with the idea that those criticizing a foreign enemy or religion are somehow responsible for the action of that enemy. What if one were to criticize Nazi Germany and that supposedly led them th kill more folks Would we still blame the one criticizing?. I do not think the analogy is apt since I do not think there is any real enemy in this case, but it does show the problems with the argument

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Taliesyn
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Mar. 24, 2011 7:53 pm

Disclaimer regarding all of the following: I freely admit to not being the most assiduous researcher--although when I hear a claim that sounds exaggerated or lacking context, I like to look it up, no matter how trustworthy the source has proven to be. I also admit to not personally monitoring major media sufficiently to personally assess every critique of bias--but based on what I have checked out, I find at least some who make such claims to be credible in their overall reporting. Of course, since situations have so many variables, it's hard to prove conservatives are accurate whenever they say "Can you imagine the reaction if a Republican had done this?" in response to a scandal involving a Democrat. However, one of Larry Elder's books (Showdown?) presented transcripts of the ABC, CBS and NBC anchors reporting on Clinton's and Bush's executive orders on abortion just after each inauguration--assuming the quotes are accurate (and how would I verify THAT, except to ask whether I've heard of a lawsuit over this publication?), bias among all three networks was clearly proven in this case. (I say this being pro-choice.)

DRC: I'm certainly aware about the opposition to Global Free Trade in general (I share in concerns about it, as do Pat Buchanan and Michael Savage, and I'm not among the libertarians who value profits so highly; I just have many reasons to be skeptical of big government). What I was saying was I don't recall anyone citing earthquakes or tsunamis as reasons for avoiding the Pacific Rim.

I also don't recall the Electoral College being a major talking point before the 2000 election for the people who were complaining about it after the election, regardless of the merits of the arguments. (I wish my California got the attention of swing states in this regard, but my swing-state argument hasn't been persuasive to friends who vote for candidates who are safely well ahead.)

one small voice: You make many good points in your Loughner paragraph. I'm aware both sides have tried to prove a point by citing selected texts...and that's what TH attempted to do, but I'm not inclined to criticize him too severely for this, as it wasn't his main point; I just wanted to point it out. And while I don't know how much of the left/right blame was in the media around Loughner, I believe Levin's outrage was genuine and that he was speaking for many. The level of imbalance is less important than whether our fellow Americans feel they're being treated fairly. As for his anti-liberal writings, I don't know how completely representative they were of all his views--more to the point, why shouldn't we expect someone so violent to feel outrage in many directions, or even to take their views seriously at all? Rush Limbaugh was absolutely right in pointing out that the Oklahoma City shooting was beyond any kind of meaningful political association.

On voting and race: You didn't get my point wrong, but criticizing those who voted for someone (partly) for being black wasn't my focus, so much as saying that satirizing such behavior is legitimate; whether the content of such efforts is acceptable is a separate question--and since TH merely mentioned the song itself without elaborating, I felt justified in not addressing the content itself. Yes, Limbaugh has said other objectionable things, which is part of the reason I'm not a big fan. As for the other racist examples cited, they're from other sources and I don't see the need to lump them in here; if the song itself has anything offensive, we can address that.

Rather than sound stilted by claiming (accurately) not to be familiar with the song, I read the lyrics just now at http://www.metrolyrics.com/barack-the-magic-negro-lyrics-paul-shanklin.html and found it to be a mere commentary on reactions to race. Frustrating to some for various reasons, perhaps, but I see nothing off limits there--especially if, as Wikipedia says, the term "magical Negro" was popularized by Spike Lee.

Knowing how anything remotely race-related can get blown out of proportion (and having been unfairly accused of racism myself), I get wary when I see quick, vague references, but I'll give TH the benefit of the doubt since I don't know how he feels about the content of the song--and because I think *his* civility wouldn't allow for hit-and-run mentions.

chilidog: Flat or not, I think it's dysfunctional to all crowd into one place, regardless of libertarians who think (insultingly?) we should solve it by cutting off excess benefits to everyone (like that would ever happen until hyperinflation hits), or who value uninhibted movement and trade like we're all in Utopia. As for those who suggest it's racist to not want all 6 billion people in the 50 states' neighborhoods, schools, hospitals and streets: if there were a legal way to deport troublemaking Americans and keep good immigrants of all colors, I'd prefer that to current law.

Taliesyn: Can you please clarify what you're referring to? Thanks.

libertarian voting for Tea Party's picture
libertarian vot...
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Apr. 4, 2011 11:09 am

What the .....

"if there were a legal way to deport troublemaking Americans and keep good immigrants of all colors"??????????

I don't know where to begin with that one.

Who is the arbiter of troublemaking and goodness?

Wouldn't some have considered Martin Luther King Jr. to be a troublemaker?

Or how about Glenn Beck?

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Laborisgood
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

You're quite right. I regret that the best-intentioned hypotheticals can be disturbing when taken literally.

Had I not offered it, I trust that you would have taken my call for secure borders at face value, and not read anything racial into it whatsoever? Not that you wouldn't have, but some are needlessly (dare I say distractively?) inflammatory on this point. So I pre-empted them.

libertarian voting for Tea Party's picture
libertarian vot...
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Apr. 4, 2011 11:09 am

I will trade the Koch Bros and the Tea Party for the illegal immigrants in a NY second. The latter are people willing to work with family values.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Hey Mr. Lib: Honestly, what is the difference between MLK and Glenn Beck? They both are "troublemakers" depending on your perspective, right? Whether you meant it hypothetically or I take it literally, has no bearing.

Most of what your selling is going right over my head. I'm not as deep as some you may encounter on this site. All I know is I was reading a lot of your words that were not even taking hold in my brain until I stumbled onto "deport troublemaker Americans and keep good immigrants". I'm sorry, but I found that to be either something very profound or utterly ridiculous. Just looking for clarification.

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Laborisgood
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

libertarian vot- I guess my point is different than what you have based this thread on so my apologies. My point is that the logic being presented claimed that Terry Jones helps the enemy, as in muslim exteremism, by criticizing it or humiliating it. My point is that there is an Orwellian, or at least contradictory, nature to this claim.

The claim seems to rely on the idea that one side of the conflict needs an increase in rhetoric for their opponents in order to feed the fire of conflict. I do not necessarily disagree with the point, but I think it does fail to recognize that when americans are feed the story of a great enemy that they have a rational reason to be insulting to such an enemy. And further, if a true enemy exists restricting free speech in terms of insult to the enemy or feeding the spirit of conflict creates a conundrum of sorts.

The whole problem begins well beyond Terry Jones with a war based on very strange assumptions, and I would suggest his actions are a symptom from a cause of far greater powers than he. Creating a enemy on unfathomable proportion to the public followed by a logic that staes don't piss of the enmy because you are helping them has some logical problems dont ya think?

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Taliesyn
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Mar. 24, 2011 7:53 pm
Quote Laborisgood:"deport troublemaker Americans and keep good immigrants". I'm sorry, but I found that to be either something very profound or utterly ridiculous.

It's both. An inelegant attempt ahead of time to reassure those who see race everywhere.

I liked your hypothetical comparison of MLK and Beck. Yesterday I wished I'd said:

I hadn't thought about whether Glenn Beck should be in charge of judging our worthiness--but if that happens to be who the great MLK had in mind when he called for people to be judged on "the content of their character" then who am I to say he shouldn't?

libertarian voting for Tea Party's picture
libertarian vot...
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Apr. 4, 2011 11:09 am

Taliesyn, I agree about the confusion around the Terry Jones controv now that I know what you were referring to.

I was just saying, in short, let's stop with critiquing people's libraries.

libertarian voting for Tea Party's picture
libertarian vot...
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Apr. 4, 2011 11:09 am
Quote libertarian voting for Tea Party:

I've listened several days now after being told how reasoned TH was and how willing to engage the opposition, and I certainly appreciate his tone in this regard. However, I thought TH or listeners might appreciate my noting what I detected today as a slight overstepping.

TH was discussing how Terry Jones' actions were more harmful than general big-name conservative negativity. What I object to is not the characterization of pundits as destructive (though I mostly disagree), but with saying an argument could be made that some violence might have been inspired by, say, Michael Savage, given that a perpetrator (I forget whom) was found to have such a book. As Mark Levin said of Loughner, the media didn't give equal weight to the possibility of his being from the left given his possession of The Communist Manifesto. I submit this recent event is worthy of heeding by one with TH's measured reputation.

Look a lot of these lone nuts are CIA sponsored terrorists. When politicians poll numbers go down the CIA engages in false-flag operations to manipulate the public into sympathizing with the politician. Loghner was another Oswald, sponsored and supported by the CIA to carry out another false-flag operation.

The media creates distractions with the whole left/right inspired this guy to go through with it for weeks on end. The CIA is never blamed and the politician can get victim sympathy for it.

DON"T BE FOOLED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also Thom is good but if want some hard core news go to www.prisonplanet.com Thom has Alex on from time to time.

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Volitzer
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Libertarian vot wrote:

"I think it's dysfunctional to all crowd into one place, regardless of libertarians who think (insultingly?) we should solve it by cutting off excess benefits to everyone (like that would ever happen until hyperinflation hits),"

poly replies:

The U.S. produces $40,000 per year for every man, woman, and baby...$160,000 per every family of four. Are you referring to the $12,000 average per year in Soc. Security/Disability payments as an "excess" of the national income share or the billion dollar bonuses as the excess?

A mn. wage earner can earn the billion bucks in 30,000 years if he works without ceasing. 30,000 one hundred-year lifetimes.The excess is where?

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:"I think it's dysfunctional to all crowd into one place, regardless of libertarians who think (insultingly?) we should solve it by cutting off excess benefits to everyone (like that would ever happen until hyperinflation hits),"

Are you referring to the $12,000 average per year in Soc. Security/Disability payments as an "excess" of the national income share or the billion dollar bonuses as the excess?

I was referring to others who considered certain entitlements excessive, rather than passing judgment on them myself.

libertarian voting for Tea Party's picture
libertarian vot...
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Apr. 4, 2011 11:09 am

The US has a GDP that reflects $40k per person and $160k per family of 4. But I highly doubt that we can say that the US "produces" $40k per person.

Based on the fact that our GDP is over 70% consumption, AT BEST you can say that the US "produces" about $10k per person.

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Cheesebone
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Sep. 1, 2010 8:18 am

Currently Chatting

The other way we're subsidizing Walmart...

Most of us know how taxpayers subsidize Walmart's low wages with billions of dollars in Medicaid, food stamps, and other financial assistance for workers. But, did you know that we're also subsidizing the retail giant by paying the cost of their environmental destruction.

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